(In the interest of full disclosure- this is not a sponsored post. But I have an affiliate relationship with Blue Q because I love them that much. So yes, your purchase supports this site. Thank you!)
This is the moment when I get a lot of questions about Great Barrington and the Berkshires. Our population explodes over July and August, and there are a million different things I could tell you to do, places where I’d insist you should go. My list tends to be a little more low-income and low-key than the average Berkshire list, but it’s filled with food and culture anyway. For anyone who’s looking for one, here it is–my top Berkshire five right now:
1. For dinner, go to The Dreamaway. You will get lost on the way, so just be prepared. Make a reservation, and give yourself extra time to pick up a 413 at the bar outside and wander around the woods for a bit.
2. For coffee, go to No. Six Depot. Say hello to Flavio, and ask him about what he’s roasting. And if you’re at Tanglewood, venture over to the Six Depot satellite while you’re there. (If it’s Sunday, I’m making your coffee!)
3. For culture, go to Jacob’s Pillow to see the Inside/Out show of the night. Wednesday through Saturday, there’s a free (Free!) show at 6:15. Bring kids, bring a picnic–it’s all fair game. And it’s right near the Dreamaway, so see #1. Also, go to Tanglewood on Saturday mornings for the rehearsal. You have the place all to yourself, it’s 10 bucks for grownups and free for kids.
4. For lunch, go to The Bistro Box. Bring a blanket. If it’s Saturday, go to the Farmers’ Market at the Great Barrington Fairground. Come say hi to me (behind the big pile of kohlrabi in the corner), and then go get a lamb and yogurt flatbread from SoMa.
5. For drinks, buy something good at Domaney’s, send me an email, and tell me when you’re coming. I have ice. Also, elderflower simple syrup.
Oh, and this is my favorite part. Did you know that we have NO PLASTIC BAGS in Great Barrington? Well we have a few, but we have less. But the important thing to know is that you need to bring your own bags to the grocery store, or really anywhere. We banned them last year at town meeting, and there was some cynical grumping about it, but I swear it’s been a huge shift. Even at the regular old not fancy natural foods grocery stores, most people are walking through the parking lot with bags tucked under their arms. And so many of them are made by a local company that makes just about the most beautiful bags I’ve seen, all out of recycled material. They’re strong, inexpensive, and unlike canvas bags, they’re easy to wipe out. Also, you’ll get comments at the checkout line. Blue Q is local company based in Pittsfield, but I’m guessing you’ve seen them, as I saw Blue Q products on every block when I was in Portland and Seattle.
They also make what has become my favorite purse. (Also, funny socks and some highly inappropriately named body care products, and I mean that in a good way.)
If you’re coming to the Berkshires, let me know (see #5)! And stock up on bags so you don’t have to fill your pockets with groceries, too.